What is the most popular cuisine in America?

Written By Scott Joseph On August 5, 2022

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According to FoodFireFriends, a barbecue-centric website, the most popular cuisine for Americans is Chinese. You were sure that a study conducted by a barbecue site was going to say barbecue, weren’t you? (So was I.)

As a matter of fact, barbecue isn’t even in the top 20, unless it’s assumed in the American food category, which tied for 15th place with French food. (Soul food (7th) and Hawaiian food (10th) were in their own categories.)

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The rankings were determined through Google search terms. On average, Americans search for Chinese food an average of 3.35 million times every month. Hey, maybe that’s why barbecue didn’t rank – we spell it barbecue, bar-b-q, barbeque, bar-b-que and there’s only one way to spell Chinese. Just a thought.

Mexican food was second with an average of 1.22 million monthly Google searches, and three other Asian cuisines – Thai, Indian and Korean – rounded out the top five. (See top 20 list below.)

Little was shared about the study’s methodology, so the results should maybe be taken with a grain of monosodium glutamate. Perhaps people were using search terms like “why did my Chinese food make me sick?” or “how do I reduce the amount of Chinese food in my diet?” There’s no way of knowing.

But I thought you’d find the results interesting.

(Note: It’s a myth that only Chinese restaurants use MSG and there is no such thing as MSG syndrome, so please, no comments on that topic.)

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